Words Create Worlds®
October 2015 Newsletter
Company of Experts Consulting Services
Our journey begins with one step... 


Summer. Spring. Winter. Fall.  When you think of the seasons, which one draws you to it? What is it about that season? What is your best experience there? What were you doing and who were you with? Does where you live affect your perception of the seasons? What could alter or change your perception or thoughts about each season? I am putting forward a notion that Fall is awesome.

Growing up in a beach city in Southern California I don't remember even thinking about the seasons. When the weather remains fairly constant - seasons really meant school or no school. I loved the beach, the weather and value my visits there even more than when I lived there.

Now. I live in the desert. Fall is my favorite part of the year. After a brutally long and hot summer, the coolness of Fall is so welcome. There is a newness in the air. We can venture out of our summer AC cocoon and venture outside during the day. Gardens are abundant and patios hum with laughter and good times. This is our second spring, they like to say here.

Perceptions change. When we begin new journeys with new experiences and people we open ourselves to new possibilities.  Working with the Center for Appreciative inquiry has given me the skills and the interest to look at each day as though it is an open book (Poetic Principle in Appreciative Inquiry) to foster a fresh perception of each day and the gifts before me. I can open the page, dig in and find the best.

Kathy Becker,
President and CEO,
The Center for Appreciative Inquiry
In This Issue:
Appreciative Resources:
Welcome to the Appreciative Inquiry Community...
Company of Experts / Center for Appreciative Inquiry is pleased to introduce its newest Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators and/or Coaches to its growing AI family. 

The individual(s) listed below participated in our 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) and/or our 5 day Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) program and submitted a practicum demonstrating their knowledge and application of Appreciative Inquiry. In reading their practicums, we are able to celebrate in their achievements and observe how Appreciative Inquiry has positively influenced their lives - personally and professionally.
  • Dennis Whitford, "Our circle strives for reconciliation through our spirituality and recognition of differences, passing this on for the benefit of future generations"
  • Sandra Paolini, "I have arrived; I am the right presence of honor and choice"
  • Chantelle Allen, "We value the principles of excellence, strong teamwork, recognition, learning and growing that ignites the passion for innovative programming with real impact"
  • Angela Greenwald, "Creating a Corporate Center of Excellence with Appreciative Inquiry"
  • Daniela Salih Khidir, "Engaging the Community on Campus to Collaborate"
  • Lori Hovey, "Our Post-Diploma program is a culturally-specific, multi-disciplinary, evidence-based program delivered in a technology-rich environment"
New practicums are frequently posted to our website, so please check back often to see what new stories have been posted. Click here for more practicums.
Appreciative Inquiry and the Power of Negative Thinking
By John Mauremootoo, InSpiral Pathways

All of you who are familiar with the Appreciative Inquiry approach to organisational, project and personal development will be aware of the following "Big Five" interlinked and overlapping principles that underpin the paradigm:
  1. The Constructionist Principle (words create worlds) - the filters through which we interpret the world create our reality in other words the map is not the territory. These filters shape our language, communications and day to day interactions; so focusing on possibilities rather than limitations helps us to generate a better future.
  2. The Simultaneity Principle (inquiry is an intervention) - systems move in the direction of the questions we most persistently ask and change happens from the moment we begin our inquiry; so consistently asking empowering questions plants the seeds of positive change.
  3. The Poetic Principle (we author our own histories) - people interact and learn through stories, and like poems and books the narratives that shape our lives are open to different interpretations; so we can enhance the prospects for success by replacing the stale old narratives of stress, conflicts and shortcomings with stories of individuals, programmes and organisations at their best. 
  4. The Anticipatory Principle (our expectations inspire our actions) - what we do today is guided by our expectations of the future; so developing a motivating vision will help imbue our present day actions with hope, excitement, joy and other uplifting emotions that contribute to peak performance.
  5. The Positive Principle (positive images lead to positive actions) - positive emotions such as joy, compassion and empathy promote a resourceful mental state; so enhancing qualities like camaraderie, persistence, and resilience to setbacks will contribute to personal and organisation effectiveness.
These are indeed very powerful principles but to till now I have avoided explicitly referring to them when I have facilitated introductory Appreciative Inquiry workshops. Read Article>> 
Language as Action: Managing Progress & Accountability
By: Luke Younge, Certified Ai Trainer & Coach, The Center for Appreciative Inquiry
In a previous post I wrote about the concept of Destiny in Appreciative Coaching. For many, the 'radical' approach outlined in that article made sense and breathed new life into their coaching practice; however, many people are curious - how do we evaluate or monitor our client's progress as they live out their Destiny? The International Coaching Federation (ICF) requires its members to adhere to eleven core competencies. The purpose of these competencies is to help coaches support and maximize their client's personal and professional potential. One core competency involves managing a client's process and accountability. This article intends to suggest some methods to: measure, track and evaluate the progress of one's coaching, assess progress and accountability, and reinventing what these terms can mean for us as appreciative coaches.

Progress and Movement
There is a paradigm of progress that says that to progress we must close the gap between where we are and where we want to be. We start here and move to there. In this paradigm milestones, markers, progress indicators all make sense and are very helpful in making good progress. Let's call this the traditional paradigm of progress.

There's another paradigm that says that progress is really only seen in hindsight. We look over our shoulder and say, "yes I progressed", but we cannot actually 'progress' in the present moment. In the present all we can do is live and act according to a set of beliefs and assumptions about what is possible for us right now. There is, of course, progress in this paradigm (as well as hard work), but the notion of struggle to 'close the gap' is absent. We are relieved of the struggle to succeed, and instead act in accordance with the future that calls us. The future we are 'living into' lives as something possible in the present. It is held in our images of the future. Read Article>>
Ai and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
By: Fiona of Appreciating People
Asset-based community-driven development (ABCD) - also called asset-based community development - is a bottom-up way of working with communities that focuses on community strengths and assets, rather than need, deprivation and problem solving: the glass half-full, not the glass half-empty!

Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy and strategy for purposeful and profound change. It identifies the best of 'what is' and then encourages dreams of 'what could be'. It is a collaborative search for the strengths and passions which can lead to inspired, positive change and its link with social construction provides the opportunity to see new possibilities for the future.

A key characteristic of AI is that it is generative - generating new ideas, committed actions, and deeper connections between people, which makes the AI process about much more than positive thinking. This means that it can have a broad impact in the community. Read Article>> 
3 Strategies for Living Each Day Creating Impact and Influence
By: Amy Franko, Founder & CEO of Impact Instruction Group

Conversations about impact and legacy often come later in life as we look back at what we've accomplished and contributed. Instead, what if we looked forward and consciously designed our path of impact and influence?

Let's start by considering the number 30,000.

Arianna Huffington's book Thrive introduces the third metric, which is redefining the way we view success in the western world. She shares an interesting statistic: most of us are gifted with about 30,000 days in life. As I recently celebrated a milestone birthday, having turned 40. I did a quick calculation. I've used about 15,000 of my 30,000 days. (I'm hoping if I play my cards right, I might squeeze in a few more beyond that 30,000 number.)

It made me stop and think. As I move through the 30,000 days that make up my life, how often have I stopped (or at least slowed down) to consider my impact? And am I making an impact with the people and in the ways I truly want? Are you?

If your answer is no or you're not sure, I challenge you to take some time to define success in a way that resonates with you. Begin to truly live each day creating impact and influence. Here are three tips for getting started. Read Article>>
Shifting From Linear to Holistic Design
By: Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, Positivity Strategist

Organizational cultures vary, just as human personalities vary. Many are embracing methods and tools that bring all voices to the table. Participatory, inclusive decision-making practices and use of collaborative tools and technologies, along with social media platforms to level the playing field are becoming more common, facilitating our capacity to be more experimental, productive, playful, and engaged.

Impetus for Change
Still, in most organizations, the starting point for change is to focus on what is broken and then call for change or a training program only when leaders or managers perceive employees are not performing. "It's a training problem," they complain. How many of us have been brought in to fix many "training problems" after a major change implementation failed to include informing (let alone including) the employees of new strategies, organizational restructure, new technologies, systems, processes, policies, or procedures. The expectation is that employees will slot into whatever the new design is and keep the organization running smoothly without support or strategies for transitioning to the new. Read Article>> 
Steve Jobs Once Said, "People with Passion Can Change the World"
By: Carmine Gallo

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year absence. The company he had co-founded was running out of cash and close to bankruptcy. Jobs held a staff meeting and explained the role passion would play in revitalizing the brand:

Apple is not about making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. Apple is about something more. Its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.

The simple phrase -- "people with passion can change the world" -- holds the secret to entrepreneurial success. Nearly a decade later, in 2005, Jobs returned to the theme in his famous commencement speech at Stanford University.

"You've got to find what you love," Jobs said. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." Read Article>>
Why Curiosity and Humility are Critical to Success
By: Rhett Power, Co-Founder of Wild Creations

Each one of us is unique and has a gift. That's a truism, and we know that. We also know that some needs we have as human beings are universal or at least nearly so. We all need food and water to live.

We need additional things to thrive: exercise, affection, and maybe even validation. Validation means that another person values us as human beings and for what we uniquely bring to the world. Some would even say that in a "me-centered" culture, where everyone is busily absorbed in their own lives and what they are doing, we hunger for validation.

Because of that hunger for validation, we will remember a person who provides it to us. Providing validation can be as simple as listening. Listening with true interest and humility is even better.

Curiosity drives interest: What does this person think, what makes him "tick," how does she do that, what does he want to happen, how does she view the world? And people with humility understand that they don't have all the answers and that each person they meet, each experience, has something to teach them. Learn More>> 
The Emotions That Make Us More Creative
By: Scott Barry Kaufman

Artists and scientists throughout history have remarked on the bliss that accompanies a sudden creative insight. Einstein described his realization of the general theory of relativity as the happiest moment of his life. More poetically, Virginia Woolf once observed, "Odd how the creative power brings the whole universe at once to order." But what about before such moments of creative insight? What emotions actually fuel creativity?

The long-standing view in psychology is that positive emotions are conducive to creativity because they broaden the mind, whereas negative emotions are detrimental to creativity because they narrow one's focus. But this view is too simplistic for a number of reasons.

It's true that attentional focus does have important effects on creative thinking: a broad scope of attention is associated with the free-floating colliding of ideas, and a narrow scope of attention is more conducive to linear, step-by-step goal attainment. However, emerging research suggests that the positive vs. negative emotions distinction may not be the most important contrast for understanding attentional focus. Over the past seven years, research conducted by psychologist Eddie Harmon-Jones and his colleagues suggests that the critical variable influencing one's scope of attention is not emotional valence (positive vs. negative emotions) but motivational intensity, or how strongly you feel compelled to either approach or avoid something. Learn More>>
We Are Looking for Appreciative Inquiry Trainers

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry is seeking experienced trainers, coaches, consultants and facilitators to become certified to teach its Appreciative Inquiry Trainings and Workshops. Trainers will be certified to deliver our various workshops (to business, community, non-profit, education, etc.) to support the growth and interest in Appreciative Inquiry focusing on dialogue, collaboration and how the human systems thrive.

We are looking for high energy people with a commitment to helping others develop and grow as internal facilitators and to be part of creating a better World Community.  If you are grounded in humans systems flourishing demonstrated by your views of social change and by participating in the AI Community, you may be a good match for this program. Learn More>>